JERUSALEM (Oct. 3)
The government is expected to issue a formal invitation to Pope John Paul II shortly to visit Israel, it was reported here today. The invitation will in fact be a renewal of the one extended to the Pope by Yosef Ciechanover, director general of the Foreign Ministry, who was received by the Pontiff during a visit to Rome earlier this year. The Pope has already expressed a desire to visit Israel. He will be the second Pope to do so. His predecessor, Pope Paul VI, visited Israel 15 years ago.
Meanwhile, political observers here expressed satisfaction with the Pontiff’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly yesterday in which he indicated his support for the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty. “One should welcome the fact that the Pope supported the agreement even if he has his reservations about the status of Jerusalem,” one source said.